The Pond View House is an Infill project in South Bellingham. The owner sought to downsize and build a modestly sized retirement home and shop on a long vacant city lot abutting a forested city park overlooking a large pond and popular recreational trail. Despite the tranquil charm of the site, the lot remained undeveloped for many years, and went through many owners, due to complications stemming from the existing public driveway cutting diagonally through the site and providing access to an additional five other homes.

Due to the constraint of the existing driveway, the site design was split with the house situated on the east overlooking the park and the shop on the west to provide easy access and privacy from existing homes.

The owner’s goal was to create a home that allowed for single floor living with additional rooms for guests and family. The design takes advantage of the site’s existing downhill slope to the northeast by providing all the primary living spaces on the main floor with a daylight basement providing additional guest and mechanical space on a reduced footprint. Limited openings to the west reduce intrusive headlights and increased privacy from the public driveway. To the east, the living spaces open to the forest with tall windows, doors, decks, and patios that overlook the pond.

Building a home utilizing sustainable construction materials and methods was also a key priority for the owner.

The Pond View House uses Passive House Principles including continuous insulation, airtight construction, high performance windows & door, thermal bridge free detailing and heat recovery ventilation.

Crafted with simple lines, zero-VOC finishes, carbon-sequestering insulation (cork exterior, cellulose cavity), Passive House air tightness, and steel siding will ensure the home is durable, comfortable, ages beautifully with time, and has very low operating costs.

The shop’s roof is orientated directly south with a slope optimized for the installed PV array that provides the all-electric home the majority of its energy over the course of the year.

As the new house is directly adjacent to a forested park, the owner wanted to be considerate of the natural setting. The disturbed land was restored with native plants and trees and incorporates large infiltration trenches that allow the stormwater to naturally return to the forest.